Carole Stone’s most recent collections of poems are AMERICAN RHAPSODY, CavanKerry Press, 2012 and HURT, THE SHADOW, Dos Madres Press, 2013. LATE is forthcoming from Turning Point in January, 2016. Her most recent poetry publications are Cavewall, The Bellevue Literary Journal, Blue Fifth Review, Exit 13, Marsh Hawk Review, and Talisman. She is Distinguished Professor of English, emerita, Montclair State University.
Brazil is the future.
— Stephan Zweig
Brazil’s southern skies shoot stars
as Stephan and I
lie down side by side,
me in my flowered peignoir,
he in his velvet smoking jacket,
to swallow Veronal.
German culture my husband’s lost love,
what could he do
but leave dying Europe,
a Jew, an Austrian, a cosmopolite.
But Petrόpolis is not Vienna.
Stefan asked me to type the letter he will leave.
“I think it better to conclude
in good time a life in which
intellectual labor meant the purest joy.”
We hold hands.
Soon it will be over.
Who will remember me?
Lotte Altmann, a woman, still young,
who followed him,
his secretary, his wife.
On top of the calendar:
Picantes pero Sabrosos.
I translate the Spanish,
my tongue still learning
the taste of poblanos, chipotles,
The months are up to Mayo.
Eight more pages until Enero,
when I will return
to sit under a purple beach umbrella,
laughing, drinking, perhaps brandy,
more likely tequila to push back
sorrow, like the iguana
on a brown leaf, playing dead.
Come buy our orchard fruits. Come buy, come buy.
– Christina Rossetti
Gingham curtains, luvie,
a black-eyed Pakistani calls.
Table cloths and Pashmina shawls,
come and get them, sweetie.
The grocer’s newspaper wrapping
oozes with drooling tomatoes.
They’re tasty duckie.
The tattooed butcher’s bloody
pound notes drip. Chops on sale,
Lambkin. A severed pig’s head
gazes upside down. Hungry for love,
I am blooming
with every peddler’s billing and cooing.
Dearie, dearie, dearie.
For the endearments they shout,
I will buy anything — just about.